Fairfax Station, established on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad in 1851, was originally known as Lee's Station until 1852. It served the town of Providence, location of the Fairfax County Court House. A small community, mostly Irish, grew near the station with a post office in 1852 and Saint Mary of Sorrows Catholic Church in 1860. Between 1897 and 1921 the area was called Swetnam, reverting back to Fairfax Station in 1921. In 1907 this area was known as a "progressive and enterprising village" with two churches, two stores, a school and a blacksmith's shop. The principal occupations were farming, dairying and lumbering.